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Size Matters

Posted Feb 05 2011 8:23am

A four-bedroom house. A two-seater car. A single serving of ice cream. Yes, there are times when size matters. It also matters when it comes to getting the right size clothing that fits you like a glove!

After working with clients for years to help them find clothing that works for them, I've heard it all. "Oh, I can wear anything from a 2 to a 10", "I can just have it let out and it won't be so tight", and the list goes on. But one thing I have found in my many years of dressing women is that size matters. Getting the right size, that is.

Over the past few weeks I have done quite a bit of shopping with clients and a pattern has emerged. Or better yet, I believe I have tapped into a big secret as to why so many woman have clothing that just hangs in their closet that the spent good money on, only to end up in the discard pile. I've also found where my little bit of magic comes in, and that is in finding the right size.

When I'm personal shopping for my clients, I work to the best of my ability to help them get clothing that will work perfectly for them, on several levels. Fit is the primary concern. What I've heard from clients is that too many times they'll take something in just one size into the fitting room, decide it's too small (or too big, which has been the case several times recently) and just move on to the next thing. But what they don't realize is that if they bothered to try on a size up or a size down, they could wind up with a garment that they absolutely love!

With my experience as a dressmaker, often I can think out of the box to see how clients can make just minor alterations to have a perfectly fitting garment. Just yesterday a client tried on a dress that was perfect in every way, but a bit too low-cut for work. After a few minutes of considering possibilities, we determined that if she just had the shoulders taken up a bit, not only would it alleviate the problem, but it would be an even better fit.

So here are my tips for helping you get the best fitting clothing possible:

1/Fit is Key - don't get hung up on the numbers. Whether you have to go up or go down, your goal is to have the best fit for your body, not squeeze yourself into a size 6. No one will know what size you're wearing, only how fabulous you look!

2/ Be Relentless - If you find something you love and it's a bit too big or small, find another size that will work for you. Hire a personal shopper to ensure you have the right sizes in everything. Sometimes you need to try on multiple items to get the perfect fit. Get a good fit or go home! Otherwise, you'll end up wasting money on something you'll never wear - or feel fabulous in.

3/ Explore Possibilities - If at first the outfit doesn't work, think about what you could do to change that. Sometimes a nip or tuck are all that's necessary to make a garment fit you like a glove. Many larger stores have alterations specialists who can help you to know what's possible. Don't be afraid to ask for their professional opinion, as well as what it would cost. If an overhaul is necessary, it may not be worth the cost when all is said and done.

4/ Shapewear is Key - If a dress shows every lump, bump and bulge, don't discount it completely. Sometimes just wearing shapewear, such as Spanx, will give you a sleek, smooth look and help you go from schlumpy to sexy. Department stores have begun stocking it in or near the clothing, so don't be afraid to try some on with your dress to see how great the final product can be.

5/ A Second Look - At first glance, an outfit may appear too big and too sloppy and you may discount it altogether. But give it a second look and ask yourself if the sleeves are too long, or it needs to be hemmed. Sometimes when sleeves or hem are too long a garment appears to be much bigger on you than it actually is. Roll sleeves and cuffs up or imagine your skirt shorter. If the fit still is big, go down a size. Don't allow yourself to be disillusioned when it comes to size. Look for bunching, gaping, pulling or stress on seamlines. When these are present, go up a size.

6/ A Nip and Tuck - If you're hard to fit, you're going to have to be a bit more imaginative. I have many clients whose waist is smaller in proportion than their hips. Consequently, when they try on pants or skirts, the hips fit while the waistline is gaping. This is where a creative mind, as well as an alterations specialist, can assist you in getting the right item for you. Buy a garment to fit the biggest part of you, then have the rest tailored to fit your body.

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